Jan 19, 2021 | By Hannah Manton
Big data meets consumer insights, Experience WGSN.
As the world slowly emerges from lockdowns, consumers will remain cautious and continue to practise habits formed during the pandemic. From steering clear of public spaces by using their own home for different occasions to buying products to lift mood, here are some of the key directions to emerge from Covid-19.
People buy based on emotion more than need: they will choose one item over another based on price, but especially on how it makes them feel. Of course our interior surroundings have a major impact on our emotions and moods. In the face of Covid-19 and a struggling economy, people will look to brights and pastels mixed together to encourage a mood of radical optimism.
Home used to be a place we would go back to, from work, the gym, school, entertainment. Now it is the place where we live, work and play from. Our houses are now homes to all of our activities and will need to be super flexible. It’s all about creating nooks and alcoves, with great backdrops for digital meetings, where we can engage in activities without being disturbed or disturbing others. We will see a lot more curtains and room dividers to create those spaces.
All of our objects will have to multitask and be smarter, such as Next’s coffee table that opens up into a desk so you can work comfortably from your sofa. Sports equipment will be increasingly well-designed so it can fit seamlessly into home decor, like a skipping rope that looks good enough to hang on the wall or Tom Dixon’s weights that function as decorative accessories when not in use.
With people increasingly staying at/working from home, there will be a shift from open plan designs to cosy, more cloistered spaces. Also, the separate entryway will make a comeback. It has disappeared in open-plan constructions, but it will be increasingly important to have a safe space to place your shoes, coat and bags from outside, a sanitation station with gel to cleanse your hands and UV lighting systems to sterilise your phone and keys before you enter the rest of the home.
Entertainment will continue to be enjoyed at home as people will feel safer having a few people over rather than going to a crowded restaurant. Home cooking has been a huge trend during lockdown and will continue into the foreseeable future. We are seeing cookware companies not selling products as much as they are selling ways to use your time, such as creating restaurant-quality meals that are budget-conscious, but also fun to prepare. People are also creating at-home cocktails and mocktails, so we have seen the return of bar carts and a rise in sales of professional-quality drink equipment.
Besides the sanitation stations above, we will be seeing more interest in new materials, such as Antiviraltex, a textile that eliminates coronavirus and other flu viruses, or Bac-shield, a coating derived from crab shells that kills bacteria. We will also see renewed interest in time-honoured metals such as copper and brass, which have inherent antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
We have been tracking the rise of the plant economy over the last five years. Plants are not just chosen as decor, but as companions – think ‘plant parents’ – and as wellness items that clean the air and calm the mind. People are becoming more confident in their green thumbs and are moving past easy-care succulents and monsteras towards more complex plants and plants with patterned leaves, such as spotted begonias and calatheas. There is a certain amount of pride in keeping a difficult houseplant alive!
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